Home / Fall 2012 / 2012-10-11 / Students text and drive on campus

Students text and drive on campus

It’s not worth it.

On Monday, students waited in line on the Pedestrian Mall in front of Odum Library to experience the Texting Simulator.

The Office of Health Promotions provided the full size car designed to model the dangers of texting while driving, and Tyler Salzwedel and Aaron Snyder from the Peer Awareness Company operated the demonstration.

Students sat behind the wheel of the car and wore virtual goggles while trying to send a text as they “drove”. Meanwhile, other students watched a screen that showed how many miles per hour the driver was going and whether or not the student crashed due to texting.

There was also a display board sponsored by AT&T with statistics about texting that helped the message hit home with both students who experienced it, and those who chose to watch.

“It was pretty intense because it was hard to stay in one lane and easy to get into the opposite lane,” Brittani Avery, a junior graphic design major, said. “I learned that texting and driving is very dangerous, especially if you take your eyes off the road for one second.”

One fact that was repeatedly emphasized was that texting and driving takes a person’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds.

Officer Juan Arzayus commented on how the Texting Simulator will raise awareness and settle the doubts of whether drivers feel they can handle texting and driving or not.

“While you may think you are a skillful driver when you text and drive, we’re going to prove that it does become an impairment to your driving skills,” he said.

“Many people have been led to think, ‘well I have been doing it for a while and haven’t been involved in an accident, so nothing will happen’. This might prove while you are in a controlled environment, you are more prone to get into an accident.” He said.

Salzwedel was impressed with the reactions of the students.

“It’s a growing epidemic in America with more and more teens texting,” he said. “We got a good turnout of people saying they won’t do it anymore when they were done with the simulator. They got to experience the accidents now so they won’t get into them in real life. Don’t text and drive.”

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